Tracks: Advancing Your Practice

I don’t talk like that! Research methods and ethics for natural language interaction.

Language is a highly complex and socially constructed phenomenon. We use language and our voices to indicate identity, group membership, emotion, and to create closeness/distance, among other things. Language use and voice can change based on factors such as gender, age, region/location, or disability. This intense personal connection to language means that there are particular ethical and sensitivity considerations to researching natural language for the digital space. Not only do people have very strong opinions about language, they often say the exact opposite of what they do. It can be incredibly difficult to get natural language samples, especially in a research setting.

Abby will teach you how to conduct ethical research around natural language, give guidance on how to get natural language samples, and how to get impactful results from your research by explaining how and when to use quantitative vs. qualitative methods and the considerations for data analysis.

Abby Bajuniemi, PhD.

UX Researcher & Designer, Gomoll Research + Design


Abby is a Research and Experience Design consultant with a PhD in applied linguistics, specializing in language learning and sociolinguistics (the study of language and society). She translates her expertise in language systems and research to her work in user experience and human factors interaction design.

Before her career in technology, she was a professor and academic; teaching, speaking, and publishing on linguistics and language learning. She continues to scratch that teaching itch by giving workshops and conference talks on the intersection of language and tech, and recently, writing a book on natural language research and design for Rosenfeld Media! She also loves the Oxford Comma.